Flying is a wholly unnatural act for an ape descendent species. We were not meant to fly. Birds - a dinosaur remnant, if "scientists" can still be trusted - they have an excuse for flying; for them, it's a natural act. For us it requires hours of preparation, including squeezing our liquids into clear plastic bags, before we are allowed the privilege of putting our lives into the hands of potentially quite drunken pilots who have a beef with their local union representation. Yes, drunk and disgruntled.
Recently, Professor Stephen Hawking (yes, the real one) posting on “Yahoo! Answers” asked the world, or at least us internet rabble: “In a world that is in chaos politically, socially and environmentally, how can the human race sustain another 100 years?”1 In case you’re not familiar with the service, “Yahoo! Answers” allows anyone to post a question on anything and then have a bunch of yahoos “answer” it. In other words, imagine what would happen if you dumped a herd of lobotomized philosophers out on a deserted island for six or seven decades with nothing but high-speed internet connections, broken keyboards, and enough reefer to get several Bob Marley concerts higher than ozone.
I personally found it inspiring that Professor Hawking used the site to post such a heavy question. However, as if often the case with internet message boards, when I read the responses it totally harshed my buzz.
Before I give Stephen my own answer, it’s interesting to look at what others wrote. There’s over 15,000 "answers" so far, and I’m a writer with an article to write, so I didn’t read each and every one but I did poke around to find some that seemed representative of the lot as far as I could tell by aimlessly surfing around with four or six scotchs under my belt. Call it a scottish polling sample. Here they are: